Riverside County looking to use electronic transmission of unofficial tallies from remote locations

Riverside County (California) is a gigantic county, stretching from what is essentially suburban areas of Los Angeles and San Diego through the desert to Nevada. Not only does Riverside County cover an enormous geographic area, it also contains a lot of territory that is thinly populated. In past essays, especially right before the November 2005 Special Election in California, we talked about some innovative efforts being used in Riverside to facilitate early voting using their “ROVER” mobile voting program.

Now comes news that Riverside County is rethinking how they transmit early and unofficial vote tallies from remote locations. According to recent media reports, they are seeking to transmit unofficial election-night tallies across a dedicated and secure cable, from a remote location in Riverside County to election headquarters. The linked story above stated:

“Riverside County officials today are asking county supervisors to approve spending $15,000 on the CORNET protected network and on enhanced security at the transmission site in Indio.”

The new computer system uses a secure cable that’s only activated on election nights, Dunmore said.

The Los Angeles Times this morning had a much briefer description of this story, stating that the county supervisors approved this plan last night unanimously:
The new technology, which uses a dedicated cable that connects to the registrar’s computer, is designed to speed ballot-counting and make results available faster.

CORNET appears to be a Riverside County computer network. The general description of CORNET states that it:

The County of Riverside Internetwork (CORNET) was designed to provide inter-agency communications and to foster the exchange of information between local government agencies. CORNET utilizes high performance, multi-protocal internetwork routing technologies to electronically send and receive electronic mail, and government information between state agencies, county agencies, cities, colleges, school districts, and libraries located throughout the county. Agencies connected to CORNET may also receive unrestricted access to the information resources available on the national INTERNET through the County’s user friendly “Gopher Server”. Internet access subscribers must first sign the CORNET Standard Internet Access Subscription Agreement.

Additional details about CORNET are available from this webpage.

I’ll scout around for additional details of this initiative, and at some point hope to see it in action.